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Messages - geegee

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211
Gear Talk / Re: Cycling Sandals
« on: April 21, 2009, 11:35:03 pm »
Waterproof means that the sandal materials can actually take being wet. My first Lake sandals had quite a bit of leather on the straps which took longer to dry and deteriorated over time.

212
Gear Talk / Re: Cycling Sandals
« on: April 18, 2009, 12:33:00 am »
I've tried three SPD sandals: Lake, Shimano, and Keens. I like the Keens best since they're waterproof. I usually take regular cycling shoes and SPD sandals when I tour. Sandals are great as they are easier to slip on and off, especially if you're camping. When it's cold and rainy, I put on some neoprene kayaking socks with my sandals, saving my regular shoes for dry conditions.

The downside to constantly cycling in sandals is the weird tanning pattern you get on your feet!

213
Routes / Re: Washington, DC to Montréal
« on: April 05, 2009, 02:10:39 pm »
I did much of your intended route in July/August 2001. I was going to cycle from Ottawa to Washington (capital to capital), but I stopped in Philadelphia because of a killer heatwave and a plunging Canadian dollar (went down to 62 cents that summer) which made things ridiculously expensive for me, especially in the urban areas. I ended up taking the train to Boston and riding up the cooler, rustic northeast and ended my tour in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Cycling through the Adirondacks is really nice, with lots of opportunities to free camp. Parts of the Hudson Valley are a quite industrialized, and you'll be passing though some tight spots once in a while, especially around Albany. There is a nice paved rail trail between Glens Falls and Lake George, make sure you find it.

I chose to cycle along the Jersey Shore between Highlands and Tom's River. There's a ferry that runs between Manhattan and Highlands which allows you to skip the mess of endless Newark/Jersey city suburbs. I imagine going the other way, it would be a spectacularly scenic way to enter NYC, sailing through the Verrazano Narrows and past the statue of Liberty. Manhattan is surprisingly cycleable, the biggest problem is securing your bike if you want to see the sights. The best way to get out of Manhattan from the north is the George Washington Bridge which has a cycleable path on its south side. From there you are clear into the Pallisades and the Hudson Valley.

There was a fierce headwind for me on the Jersey shore, but it should be great for you if you are heading north. I saw a few road cyclists in the Pine Barrens between Tom's River and Philadelphia which seems to be a training run for people in the area. One thing about this region is that there are very few established campgrounds, and free camping is really difficult along the some stretches.

BTW, you should consider coming up to Ottawa, less than 200 kms east of Montreal. The route would take you over the dome of the Adirondacks into the heart of the park and Lake Placid which has hosted the Winter Olympics twice. The Canadian capital has close ties with Holland (it is twinned with The Hague) as the Dutch Royal Family was exiled here during World War II (Princess Margriet was born in Ottawa). From here to Montreal is an easy cycle along the Ottawa River. I gladly host touring cyclists at my place on warmshowers.org, so let me know if you decide to pass by.

Best of luck, you are doing the right thing going from south to north, the wind will mostly be on your back.

214
Routes / Re: Orlando FL to Houston TX
« on: March 26, 2009, 01:07:52 am »
I had no problems at all. People-wise, everyone I came across was nice to me (except for a couple of yahoos screaming out of car windows, but those jerks exist elsewhere). I was given free food three times, and offered a ride when I was cycling in the rain (I declined). Bike-wise the only snag I had was a flat tire on the last afternoon of my tour.

215
Routes / Re: Orlando FL to Houston TX
« on: March 25, 2009, 09:28:44 am »
Good guess, it took me 16 days. Mostly favourable winds, a glancing SE breeze off the sea, and a couple of days of bracing NNW winds with 30 mph gusts in the middle of the FL panhandle. A mix of accommodations half of it camping, a couple of WS hosts, some motels as cheap as $29, and one hotel splurge in New Orleans because I wanted to be close to the Saturday night action. I took a light tent with me, a Big Agnes Seedhouse SL2.

All the new bridges along the coast are excellent. It was a bit disappointing to see US 90 through Biloxi newly rebuilt without any bike lanes or a decent beachside pathway/promenade. With very minimal investment in cycling infrastructure to iron out a few rough spots (missing shoulders, alternate bike paths), this route has the makings of a great tour that offers a fantastic variety of scenery and culture.

216
General Discussion / Re: Best Camera for touring?
« on: March 25, 2009, 12:02:03 am »
I bought an Olympus Stylus 850 SW specifically four bike touring because it can take a fair amount of abuse. It's waterproof, shockproof and freezeproof. The 8 megapixels is adequate, and the newer models go up to 12. The large screen is good for reviewing pictures and is bright enough that you'll overlook the lack of an optical viewfinder. I've had mine for a year and a half now, and I also take it on kayak tours. No problems so far.

http://www.olympusamerica.com/cpg_section/product.asp?product=1365

other models:
http://www.olympusamerica.com/cpg_section/cpg_digital_sw.asp


217
Routes / Re: Orlando FL to Houston TX
« on: March 24, 2009, 07:17:15 pm »
Just got back from my ride, had a great time, mostly good weather.

For anyone interested in this route, I've mapped out the data from my GPS:
http://www.bikemap.net/route/137115


218
Routes / Re: Prague to...
« on: February 27, 2009, 09:45:01 pm »
I haven't been back to Eastern Europe since that time (so much of the world to see!) but regarding campgrounds, my observation is the ones in Europe are so well established that map makers confidently publish them unlike here in Norh America where the situation changes so much from year to year that it would render maps obsolete quickly

219
Routes / Re: Dedicated Across America Bicycle Path
« on: February 20, 2009, 10:54:26 am »
That's one of the problems with having bicycle paths that are parallel to roads — the make motorists believe that cyclists don't belong on the roads in the sections where the paths do disappear. These types of paths also resemble sidewalks (and often merge into sidewalks) and confuse cyclists with what the rules really are. I especially hate the ones that switch to either side of the road every few miles.  I like dedicated bike paths, but I think they should be built on their own as special routes away from highways. As part of a highway, I prefer wide shoulders or bike lanes.

220
Routes / Re: Prague to...
« on: February 19, 2009, 08:52:20 am »
I used the Michelin map and it seemed to have all the campgrounds marked on it.

221
General Discussion / Re: Is it worth installing a kick stand?
« on: February 17, 2009, 12:44:14 am »
I have one of these double kickstands and they are great:
http://www.biketrailershop.com/catalog/270-esge-double-kickstand-p-53.html?gclid=CKaBsq3p4pgCFREhDQodlQ_Hcg

They are particularly useful when you have to change a flat tire since the bike can stand up with only one wheel on. It is also great for fine tuning your shifting/derailleurs as you can lift and spin the rear wheel easily by tipping the bike forward. It's almost like having a repair stand on the road.

222
Gear Talk / Re: Winter cycling — pawls freezing
« on: February 16, 2009, 05:53:13 pm »
I brought the bike inside the other night and that seemed to do the trick in getting the pawls to spring back and engage with regularity. I've had it outside all winter, including during a couple of cold snaps when temperatures dropped down to  -30˚C (-22˚F), so the grease must have really gelled up. I'll try putting some oil as you guys suggest.

Although I have done a bit of winter cycling before, this is the first winter I've done it extensively with studded tires, and I really enjoyed cycling through a couple of snow storms. We had a public transit strike during the months of December and January, so many of us in Ottawa were left to taking up cycling through the worst of the Canadian winter. I've kept it up even though the buses have started running.

223
Gear Talk / Winter cycling — pawls freezing
« on: February 14, 2009, 04:08:20 pm »
Anyone here into winter cycling? I wonder what you do about pawls freezing in your freewheel hub. I am also thinking about getting a bike with an internal hub — are these immune to freezing?

224
Routes / Re: Planning a Route verte trip this summer
« on: February 14, 2009, 10:49:15 am »
Most of your route via Sherbrooke will be on dedicated bike paths, some on old rail trails. One of the things about that route is it goes deep into "poutine country" and several towns along the way (Warwick, Victoriaville, etc) claim to be the origin of the greasy snack . I guess with all the riding you'll be doing, you can afford to sample and judge for yourself who makes the best recipe :)  There is also more refined cuisine to sample in this area -- it is home to many excellent artisan cheesemakers, and duck/goose farming. Look for local duck confit or foie gras.

225
General Discussion / Re: passport/CAN/US
« on: February 09, 2009, 09:08:16 am »
As of this year, a passport is required for travel between the USA and Canada. The US also issues passport cards which are easier to carry but is only good for travel to Canada and Mexico

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